First They Came For Emeka Ugwuonye, But Few Spoke Out

By Ikenga Chronicles December 21, 2018

First They Came For Emeka Ugwuonye, But Few Spoke Out

–Nwafor Ifeanyi,

The immortal quote from Frieddrick Gustar Emil Martin Niemoller, the German theologian and Lutheran Pastor, reverberates today.

“First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out – because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak out for me”

Today, major news outlets are agog with the news of the remand in prison custody till February 2019 of the activist, Deji Adeyanju by a court in Kano despite an order from a court in Abuja for his release. But there is nothing happening to Deji that is new. He criticised the Police and he was arrested. They searched and there was nothing strong enough to hold him. Then they filed charges against him for a murder case he was acquitted of, 10 years ago. Yes they want to prosecute him afresh for a case that was settled 10 years ago.

Abuse of power, disobedience to court orders, unlawful detention, filing of false charges against activists to harass, subdue, persecute and to intimidate them and violations of fundamental human rights have been there. Barr. Emeka Ugwuonye has been fighting these all alone. All these have been meted out to him but he continues to carry himself with considerable measure of equanimity and composure.

Many people did not speak out against injustice because it did not concern them. When we alerted the world about the intrigues of the Nigerian Police, Abuja command, against Emeka Ugwuonye, many people did not care, few openly supported the Police against Emeka Ugwuonye. Gradually, it will reach everybody who refuses to speak out against the evil in the land.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” –Martin Luther King Jr.


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